NATIONAL REGISTER OF CITIZENS (NRC), ASSAM
Context: Final list of NRC has been released in Assam. According to the list, names of about 3 crore 11 lakh applicants have been included in the final NRC, while 19 lakh 7 thousand have been excluded from the list. Assam government has assured the establishment of 400 Foreigners’ Tribunals in the state to deal with appeals made by those excluded from the final NRC list.
What has been the objective of recent updating of the NRC in Assam?
It is for the first time since 1951 that the NRC has been updated in Assam to identify bonafide residents, a state marked by illegal migration from Bangladesh. NRC 1951 is a register which cover person enumerated during the 1951 Census. It includes houses or buildings in serial order and also contains the names and number of people staying in these.
Why was NRC updated in 1951?
The major objective of the updation of NRC in 1951 was to detect foreigners (especially Bangladeshis) who may have illegally entered the state after March 24, 1971. Another motive for its updation was to compile a list of the names of genuine Indian citizens residing in the Assam.
What has been the criteria for inclusion?
NRC is being updated to include persons or their descendants whose name were in the NRC 1951 or in any other Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24th March 1971 or in any other admissible documents issued up to the midnight of 24th March 1971.
Why 24th March 1971?
It is because the highest wave of migration from Bangladesh to Assam in India when the Pakistan army crackdown forced many to flee to India. The 1985 Assam Accord that ended the 6-year anti-foreigners’ agitation decided upon the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date.
EK BHARAT, VIJAYI BHARAT
Context: Kanyakumari-based Vivekanand Kendra and its state units will launch a year-long nation-wide mass contact program, titled ‘Ek Bharat, Vijayi Bharat’ This mass contact programme coincides with the 50th year of foundation of Vivekanand Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari. It involves around 20,000 workers of around 1,005 units of Vivekanand Kendra across the country. The programme will also focus on creating awareness among people about the inspiring story of Vivekanand Rock Memorial and the activities of Vivekanand Kendra which works in the field of yoga, education, rural development, youth motivation, natural resource development, cultural research among other areas.
About Vivekanand Rock Memorial
It is a monument in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari, T. Nadu at the tri-junction of Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. It was built in the honour of Swami Vivekanand in 1970 who is said to have attained the enlightenment on the rock where he mediated in 1892. This memorial consists of two main structures: The Vivekanand Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam. The mandapa designs incorporates different styles of temple architectures from across the India.
INDIA-SWITZERLAND RELATIONS: AUTOMATIC EXCHANGE OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION (AEOI)
Context: The automatic exchange of information regime kicked off between Switzerland and India from September 1, 2019.
What is AEOI?
It is the exchange of information between countries without having to request it. It exists to reduce global tax evasion. Information can be found in this section in relation to: different agreements between countries; links to the relevant legislation and practitioner guides. AEOI will enable the discovery of formerly undetected tax evasion and will enable governments to recover tax revenue that is lost to non-compliant taxpayers. It will further strengthen international efforts to increase transparency, cooperation, and accountability among financial institutions and tax administrations.
What are the Implications of this regime w.r.t. Switzerland?
With this, banking details of Indians with accounts in Switzerland will be available to the tax authorities in India. With the help of this regime, India will receive information for 2018 in respect of all financial accounts held by the Indian residents in Switzerland and for those accounts which were closed in 2018 as well. As per the CBDT, this step will be significant in the sense that the government will have an upper hand in fighting against black money and the long driven era of ‘Swiss bank secrecy‘ will finally be over. It is to be noted that, Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is the agreed global standard of AEOI, approved by OECD in 2014.
COP14 to UN Convention to Combat Desertification
Context: The 14th Conference of Parties, COP14, to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification will get underway in Greater Noida from 2nd to 13th September 2019.
About the Conference
This Conference will put forward a framework that will help the countries to restore the land and protect human health. It will also present sustainable solutions for better land management. The Conference is expected to agree on about 30 decisions which will ramp up and elaborate further actions needed on the ground. During the Conference different industries will showcase their latest products, and innovations associated with reduction of land degradation. Key questions that will be addressed during the Conference:
- What innovations have emerged can be scaled up to address the critical issues related to land degradation and desertification and create an environment where people and species thrive?
- How and where is land degradation linked to and help to drive instability and insecurity, and what can be done to turn the situation around?
- Are the actions taken by over 100 countries to establish their land degradation neutrality targets enough? Is there an indicator of drought vulnerability that could enhance these changes? What further actions are needed?
- What actions on the ground should be taken that will make these initiatives more transformative and will accelerate the recovery of nature?
- What are the improvements that can be made to provide better and actionable information for decision-makers and increase performance on the ground?
- About 2 billion hectares of land – an area twice the size of China – are degraded but can be restored back to health. What commitments and actions can we imagine at large scales to support the resilience of the environment and livelihoods?
In a series of special events COP14 will also host ‘thematic days’ that focus on the different areas of work of the Convention. They include:
- Youth Forum (31 August)
- A Gender Caucus
- A Climate Change and Biodiversity Day (3 September)
- A Science Day (5 September)
- A Sand and Dust Storms Day (6 September)
- A Business Day (7 September)
- A Local and Regional Governments Day (7 September)
- The GEF Day (9 September)
- The Land for Life Day (10 September)
- A Drought Day (11 September).
MORE FOR YOU : THE HINDU EDITORIAL BRIEFS
STATE OF THE WORLD POPULATION 2019
Context: United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) has released its flagship report the State of the World Population 2019.
The report has been titled “Unfinished business the pursuit of rights and choices” describe issues and information about population worldwide.
Key findings of the Report
- According to the Report the world’s population in 1969 was growing at about 2 % a year. At that rate, it would almost double within the next 25 years.
- It is estimated that this year about 35 million women, girls and young people will require life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, as well as services to check the gender-based violence, in humanitarian settings.
- The report says that every day, more than 500 women and girls including in countries with emergency settings, die during pregnancy and childbirth, due to the absence of skilled birth attendants or emergency obstetric procedures.
- The report highlights the importance of education for enhancing women’s understanding of their place in society.
- The report highlights the positive changes in the last half-century, and shows that in 1969, the average number of births per woman was 4.8, compared with 2.9 in 1994, and 2.5 today.
India Specific Findings
- The Report states that India’s population grew at an average annual rate of 1.2 % between 2010 and 2019 to 1.36 billion (more than double the annual growth rate of China).
- Comparatively, China’s population stood at 1.42 billion in 2019, growing from 1.23 billion in 1994 and 803.6 million in 1969 at an average annual rate of 0.5% between 2010 and 2019.
- Total fertility rate per woman in India was 5.6 in 1969, dropping to 3.7 in 1994 and 2.3 in 2019.
- The report notes that the life expectancy at birth in 1969 was 47 years, growing to 60 years in 1994 and 69 years in 2019.
- According to the report 27 % of the country’s population was in the age group of 0-14 years and 10-24 years each, while 67 % of the country’s population was in the 15-64 age group. However, 6% of the country’s population is of the age 65 and above.
According to the estimates of the report by 2027, India will be the most populated country in the world with an estimated population of 1.5 billion, followed by China (1.1 billion), Nigeria (733 million), United States (434 million) and Pakistan (403 million).
- President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo has announced the shifting of the national capital from JAKARTA, on the island of Java, to the province of East Kalimantan, on Borneo.
- Current capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, is home to more than 10 million people and has some of the world’s worst air pollution and traffic congestion. The 40% of the city has been left below sea level owing to poor urban planning.
- Comprising about 73% of island’s area, Kalimantan, is almost 4 times bigger than Jakarta, but accounts for less than a 1/10th of the GDP. It is much more central in Indonesia’s archipelago of 17,000 islands.
- Borneo, is the 3rd largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. Politically, it is divided into 3 countries: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
- India’s first Garbage Cafe is planned to be opened in city of Ambikapur in north Chhattisgarh.
- It is an initiative to make city plastic-free. It has been hailed as the second cleanest city in the country in Swachhata rankings.
- In this cafe, poor people and rag pickers will get free food in exchange for 1 kg of plastic, while breakfast will be provided if half a kilogram of plastic is brought to the cafe.
- The collected garbage is sold at Solid Liquid Resources Management Centre where it is further turned into granules and is then used in the construction of roads in the city.
- Bhagat Singh Koshyari is the new governor recently appointed by the President Ram Nath Kovind. Four other states whose governors has been appointed are Telangana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.
- The GDP slowdown